Get Off My Lawn

Adventures of a Curmudgeon


Central Vigrinia Ruby Enthusiasts Group (CVREG)

Richmond’s Premiere Ruby Users Group

I have “officially” stepped down as the principal organizer. I, kind of, stepped in around October 2008 and, after 5 years, it’s been a blast. But it’s time for me to hand over the reins. Thankfully my group is filled with a lot of great folks; I’m confident the group will continue to grow, continue to get better, continue to be a great tech-community citizen.

I’d like to share some memories…

Andy Hunt

If you’re a developer and you haven’t read The Pragmatic Programmer then stop reading this post and buy a copy… Right Now!

Ok, so you’ve read the book, yes? Then you know about Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas.

I finally had an opportunity to meet Andy at a developer’s event/conference in Durham, NC a few years ago. And, after finally getting up the nerve, I introduce myself and asked what it would take to get him to come to Richmond to talk to my Ruby Users Group. Unbeknownst to me, Chris Allport, now a CVREG Organizer, but then an RJUG Organizer, asked about Andy coming to speak to the RJUG. After learning that we both asked him, we worked together to get the logistics figured out.

Personally, it was one of the best meetings I’ve planned or attended.

And what was Andy’s reply to my question? Oh, I don’t remember.


Hands down, one of the best regional Ruby conferences out there. I highly recommend attending if you get the chance. In fact, a number of CVREG’s former speakers were approached at a RubyNation.

And, if all the planets align, they offer a discounted rate for Ruby Group Organizers. ;-) Not too shabby, eh?

It probably goes without saying, but c’mon, who am I; conferences are a great source for speakers. Here’s a quick list of former speakers I approached at a conference:

  • Avdi Grim
  • Bob McWirther
  • Joe O’Brien
  • Jeff Casimir
  • David Bock


For all the past, present, and future User Group organizers nothing helps like consistency; nothing hurts like inconsistency. I want to thank 804RVA, the coolest co-working location in Richmond, for supporting CVREG by providing a super awesome meeting location.

And I want to thank everyone else that provided meeting locations for those ties where we didn’t have consistency; you helped keep CVREG afloat.

Stategy Cafe

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Greg Provo and Strategy Cafe. He helped get CVREG off the ground. Now, admittedly I wasn’t there because I joined the group after it had been formed; this could all be hearsay and/or some great fiction I’m writing. But, as the story goes, Greg, Jim Van Fleet, and Matt Overstreet were throwing back some beers one fine evening mid-summer 2008. Being technology folks the topic eventually landed on Ruby on Rails. Mr. Van Fleet had recently participated in an organized Ruby Code Jam in Charlottesville and wanted to bring the excitement to Richmond. Greg was able to supply a meeting location, a domain, and website hosting. The group was born!

My hat’s off to Mr. Provo for recognizing Ruby as a viable alternative to the entrenched .Net and Java shops inhabiting Richmond.

The Future

We’re a long way off from Ruby being the predominate language used in Richmond (if ever). But I think we’ve done a great job of letting folks know we exist. There is a group of passionate Ruby developers; hell, we’re passionate about technology and its use to solve simple and complex problems alike. I believe we’re a welcoming group. And we’re waiting for you to show up and help make CVREG better.

Remember, spread the word and bring a friend! And Thanks for all the great memories!!